I had seen an art exhibition advertised at the Guangming Culture and Art Centre that I liked the sound of so headed there on my last day of freedom (the National Day Holiday week). I took the subway to Fenghuang Town on line 6 and from the station it was about a 10-15 minute walk to the museum. I was a little confused when I arrived as the complex is quite big and there were two entrances opposite each other and I wasn’t sure which one was the art museum. Luckily, I picked the right one. I have no idea what the other one was for, but it was pretty busy. After checking all my various codes, I was allowed in. I had been able to book a ticket for the (free) general museum online. However, when I tried to book one for the (paid) specific exhibition that I wanted to see for some reason it wouldn’t let me. However I was able to buy one at the venue after showing that I couldn’t do it online.
The exhibition that I had come to see was Cao Yuxi’s ‘Solidified Dimensions’. Cao is a new media artist and was the visual effects director of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. This exhibition caught my eye as I was interested to see digital art created by AI. I liked the ‘Shanshui Paintings by AI’, which used an AI algorithm to create a constantly flowing series of ink paintings. I enjoyed watching the pictures unfold and change before me. There was also some stills from the piece up in the gallery and I happily wandered around looking at those, too. The next piece of art was ‘Dwelling in the Fuchun Mountains’, which is a generative digital art installation. A series of QR codes are used to create an image of Fuchun Mountains. It was an interesting idea to mix the two things to make the image and I liked the results. You could scan the QR codes to gain information, unfortunately the reception in this sections of the museum was crappy, so it didn’t work on my phone. Then next section was the ‘Dimensional Sampling’ series. I wasn’t really struck by the first part of it. But I did like the second part of it, which was a big cube in the middle of the room on which there were different colours and patterns.
It was quite mesmerizing to watch. I think this installation was meant to simulate being in a nightclub. The last installation was ‘Light Creatures’, which is a mini version of ‘Sisiters Who Make Waves’. Here, light and shadows are created by a laser projector on translucent fabric screens to mimic ever evolving cells. I really liked this one, too. At the end of the exhibition, there was a short documentary to watch about Cao Yuxi and some of his other pieces of work.
Since it hadn’t taken me too long to see the exhibition, I decided to check out the other exhibition that the museum had. I headed up the very fancy looking, but rather steep white staircase that gave you great views of the museum, not that there was a lot to see out in the main hall. The exhibition on the third floor was by Liu Wei Jian and was entitled ‘The Stage with Light’. I read the preface to the exhibition and I think the gist of it was that a landscape or scenery is, in reality, unchanged by man’s emotions, it is just a constant. However an artist can add their own happiness or apathy to their image of landscape or scenery, which is then passed on to the observer. I really enjoyed looking at the paintings on display. Their content could be seen as quite mundane, but I loved the colors and warmth that seemed to flow out of the paintings. I’m not sure if the city images were of Shenzhen or of a different city, but they had the familiarity of Shenzhen in them for me. Although that could just be that many cities are uniform these days with little individuality. In the paintings were it was evening time, I could imagine myself in them with the heat, sights, smells and sounds surrounding me. Also ‘He Fell Asleep on the Tour Bus’, the painting of a solitary tour bus in a car park evoked memories of Japan for some reason. I hope I get to travel there again some time in the future.
I made my way up to the final exhibition hall, which was displaying ‘One Falls Another Rises’ by Zhou Yuan. To be honest, I was all that enamoured with this exhibition. I liked some of the pieces, especially the black and white pictures on the walls but it was mainly pottery pieces which I am not a fan of. I liked watching the video of the artist at work making the pieces, but not so much the actual pieces. Some looked a bit creepy, which I did happen to like. My time in this gallery was pretty short as I just had a fairly quick walk around.